9/7 Human Computer Interaction – Talia Feinberg

In an experiment aimed to determine the differences in interactivity perception amongst men/women and introverts/extroverts, strides were made in terms of understanding how individual differences impact how one interacts with computerized systems. The beginning of the research paper outlined the difference between the two types of computer interactivity very clearly: human computer interaction and computer-mediated interaction. Initially, the research paper suggested that females and extroverts prefer computer-mediated interaction due to the “greater emphasis on relational aspects of communication”. The researchers predicted that computer-mediated interaction leads to higher website attitude and a higher perception of interaction – this makes sense as it is interaction with other people with the barrier of a computer rather than merely interacting with the computer itself. 

The experiment was conducted with 99 students (equal amounts of males/females) who were given the same conditions on a website with the only manipulation being the type of interaction. All were on a website discussing the same six movies, but one group had a comment function where they were required to read and comment on the movies while the other had hyperlinks to click on to get the description of the movie. This displays the difference between tools used to push HCI versus tools used to push CMC. The results showed that individual differences do, in fact, impact how one perceives interactivity. In addition it confirmed that CMC is seen as more interactive than HCI. Lastly, extroverted males perceive more interaction with HCI while extroverted females do with CMC. 

In the further research section of the experience, there was a question posed that asked if interactivity is more of a pressing issue than usability and trust with the website. This is an interesting thing to discuss and research as one may assume usability and trust are more important than interactivity. However, with the readings thus far, it is certainly up for discussion on whether or not that is true. 


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